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Tests & Assessments
Assessing Reading Difficulties and Disabilities

Question 7.

My son's teacher says he will read when he is ready. Do reading test scores improve when a child matures?

Answer

You are right to be concerned. If your son's reading subtest scores are below average in first grade, he has a problem.

Reading problems are not caused by immaturity and cannot be outgrown. The notion that children who are late bloomers in reading will catch up when they get older is a myth.

If your son has a reading problem in first grade, he will have trouble when he reaches third or fourth grade. Rather than waiting for your child to "mature," he needs to be taught to read using the rules of phonics, the tools he needs to recognize new words.

You need to get a comprehensive reading assessment.

Tests that measure your child's phonological processing, phonics skills, and spelling will clarify why your child is having difficulty and what skills need to be addressed.

For a complete listing, see Table 6-1 Reading Tests and the Skills They Measure in Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments, 2nd Edition, page 60. For more information about Reading Skills see page 56.

Legal Resource

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments, 2nd Edition Chapter 6 - Reading Assessments

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

IDEA

20 U.S.C.§ 1414(a)(1)(E)

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

IDEA Regulations

34 C.F.R. §300.302

Additional Resources

Research Based Reading Programs and Reading Assessments

Do Schools Have any Obligation to Identify and Test Students

Can a School be Forced to Evaluate a Child?

NICHD research program in reading development, reading disorders, and reading instruction (from Bright Solutions for Dyslexia).

State Special Education Regulations and Guidelines. You will find your specific state regulations at your State Department of Education website. Use the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities to locate your state site.

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